Reimagining Unionism

Mike Nesbitt’s contributions to a Reimagining Unionism event I filmed at this summer’s Féile an Phobail – along with remarks by fellow panellists Dawn Purvis, Senator Ian Marshall and Sophie Long – are worth considering in light of the decisions around UUP strategy that need to be taken in the changing political battlefield.

From Cream Buns to Hollywood: Paul Tweed talking about his career and libel reform

Paul Tweed didn’t expect to still be in the legal profession with Johnstons thirty five years after graduating. He explained to the lunchtime Féile audience that it had all started in 1985 with the Cream Bun Case where two local senior counsels (including Bob McCartney) were wrongly reported as having fought over the last chocolate éclair in a Holywood cake shop. Libel action against the Sunday World report ended up being settled by a jury with £50,000 damages awarded to …

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West Belfast Talks Back … and listens attentively too

West Belfast Talks Back was a relatively sedate affair last night with listening up and numbers slightly down on previous years. You can listen back in four parts. The star performer of the evening was UUP leader Mike Nesbitt who defied expectations and remained cool and calm throughout the nearly two hours of discussion. He addressed questions and comments on “unionism and the law”, parading, flags, the Ballymurphy massacre, onerous assessments for victims, mental health, welfare reform and equal marriage. …

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Events with a political twist at the 25th West Belfast Féile (1-11 August 2013)

A belated preview of some of the debate and politically-relevant events coming up in the 25th West Belfast Féile which runs until 11 August. The full programme is available on the festival website. Friday 2 August Robbie Burns, Poems and Songs – 7.30pm in Berry Street Presbyterian. Philip Orr and Mike Gaston “bringing out something beyond the tartan and haggis, including Burns’ radical political sympathies”. Monday 5 August Human Rights & Investigative Journalism – noon in St Mary’s University College. …

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“every discussion of the experience of west Belfast there is going to be blinkered”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Malachi O’Doherty takes a critical look at that “plenty for all” Feile.  From the Belfast Telegraph article The story of what west Belfast experienced through the Troubles is complex and amazing, but it is filtered at the Feile through a determination to defend the reputation of the IRA, the organisation that brought much of that grief upon the people and to write out of history the pain and horror suffered by those – and we know them – …

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